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Head of a Jina
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Head of a Jina


Description Provenance Credit
Description When intact, this Jina would have been represented in a posture of meditation: either seated with crossed legs and hands resting palm-up in the lap or standing perfectly straight with his arms hanging to each side. Jinas have been spiritually liberated upon death, never to be reborn in the material world. This Jina’s cranial protuberance marks him as an enlightened being; his elongated earlobes indicate that he once wore heavy jewelry but has renounced the luxury of the physical world. The Jina Mahavira is generally understood as the founder of Jainism, which, along with Hinduism and Buddhism, formed as a distinct religion on the Indian subcontinent by the end of the first millennium CE. Jainism teaches that the way to spiritual liberation and supreme happiness is achieved by protecting all living beings and by renouncing the physical world. Mahavira lived during the 6th century BCE and is the most recent of the 24 Jinas. These 24 Jinas are “victors” who have conquered desires and bodily senses to gain enlightenment and purity of soul. In worshiping the Jinas, Jains venerate the moral principles that each Jina preached, in particular non-violence and mental and physical discipline.
Provenance John and Berthe Ford, Baltimore; given to Walters Art Museum, 2009.
Credit Gift of John and Berthe Ford, 2009

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Creator
Period
10th-11th century CE
Medium
sandstone
(Sculpture)
Accession Number
25.262
Measurements
H: 10 × W: 7 3/8 × D: 6 5/8 in. (25.4 × 18.8 × 16.9 cm); Overall H with threaded post: 12 15/16 in. (32.8 cm)
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